June 17, 2002
NORMAN, Okla. - The 2002 Great Britain and Ireland Palmer Cup team was announced today by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) as selected by the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA).
Eight players will represent GB&I in the sixth annual event July 11-12 at Doonbeg Golf Club, the new Greg Norman-designed links in County Clare, Ireland. The GB&I team will compete against their counterparts from the United States over four rounds of match-play golf.
The GB&I players are Geoff Harris, Old Dominion University; Justin Kehoe, University College Dublin; Stuart Manley, University of West Florida; Philip Rowe, Stanford University; Andy Smith, Southeastern Louisiana University; Justin Walters, NC State University; Oliver Wilson, Augusta State University; and Stuart Wilson, University of Abertay. The U.S. team was announced in late April.
Four of the GB&I players have Palmer Cup experience. Kehoe, Rowe, and both Wilsons played in the 2001 Palmer Cup. Rowe, the senior of the group, also competed in the 1999 and 2000 matches. Rowe secured the lone GB&I victory in the series in 2000 by sinking a putt on the last hole at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, England, to win the final match of the competition.
The GB&I squad will be led by coach David Ridley and manager Paul Ashwell. Ridley played on the European Tour from 1970-74 and is currently head professional at Coxmoor Golf Club. Ridley coaches many leading amateurs, including Oliver Wilson. Ashwell is a PGA professional who has been teaching golfers for 20 years. He is English Golf Union Coach for the East Region and Bedfordshire County coach.
- The Palmer Cup is the first official competition at this new links. The matches are part of Doonbeg's grand opening and follow an exhibition between Norman and Padraig Harrington.
- The last time the Palmer Cup was held in Europe, Team GB&I defeated the U.S. 12.5 to 11.5.
- The United States has yet to win the Palmer Cup when GB&I hosts (tie in 1998, loss in 2000).
- This is the first time the matches will be contested in Ireland. It goes to Kiawah Island in 2003.
- The United States leads the series 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie.